“Hraparak” scoffs at upbeat statements made by various government officials at year-end news conference. “If they all have performed well, why is the country in such a bad shape?” asks the paper. “Who is responsible for this situation?”
In an interview with “Iravunk,” Bako Sahakian, Nagorno-Karabakh’s president, seems to play down the significance of the latest Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiations held in Helsinki. He says it is still “too early” to speculate about the talks’ impact on the Karabakh peace process.
“Yerkir” considers the February presidential election one of the two main events that occurred in Armenia this year. “Once again the public was left dissatisfied with the course of an election,” writes the Dashnaktsutyun weekly. “And once again a part of it found it necessary to take to the streets and squares to take issue with [official] election results.” The paper says 2009 will also see “remarkable” events, expressing hope that they will result in “more enthusiasm than disappointment.”
Armen Harutiunian, the state human rights ombudsman, assures “Zhamanak Yerevan” that he is doing everything to get the authorities to punish officials who allegedly beat up opposition prisoners this week. “Unfortunately, that phenomenon is not new,” he says.
“Hayots Ashkhar” insists that the Armenian opposition is keen to capitalize on the ongoing trial of former Foreign Minister Aleksandr Arzumanian and six other opposition figures with dirty tricks. The paper says the defendants and their lawyers have a major part to play in the opposition scenario of disrupting the trial.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reports that the special parliamentary commission investigating the March 1 clashes in Yerevan plans to question Hayk Harutiunian, the former chief of the Armenian police who now heads the State Protection Service. The paper says commission members want to finally clarify who commanded security forces that clashed with opposition protesters on that day.